The kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive areas of the home, especially when you do as much baking as I do! Inspired by Simon Rimmer’s energy fit cooking tips that I featured earlier, I thought I’d look at more ways we can help to save energy while we’re in the kitchen.
Recycling packaging and food waste is something we all (hopefully) do now, but tonnes of household appliances still end up in landfill sites every year. If you’re looking to get rid of one of your kitchen appliances, electrical retailer Dixons will now help you recycle it. Dixons have started a scheme where they’ll recycle your old cookers and ovens and other household appliances if you take them along to one of their affiliate stores. If you buy a new appliance from their site, they’ll also take your old appliance away when they deliver your new one.
As well as trying to use more organic ingredients that are free from harmful chemicals, we can all look out for ingredients that come in environmentally friendly packaging. Look out for packaging that’s easily recyclable or reusable, and take a re-usable bag with you whenever you go to the store.
New baking innovations seem to pop up more frequently now than ever. Rather than using disposable paper cups, sheets and cake trays, we can now use silicon cups, moulds and trays that can be washed and reused over and over again.
Glass and ceramic bakeware also retains heat far better than metal bakeware. Consider switching to Pyrex or ceramic trays and tins and you’ll find that your bread and cakes will bake more evenly too. You can find out more about baking with glass and ceramic bakeware over at the Chow website.
Cookers and Ovens
There are lots of little things that we can do to cut down the amount of energy our cookers and ovens use for baking, whether they’re gas or electric:
● Don’t preheat your oven too far ahead
● Turn your cooker off a minute or two before the required baking time – there’ll still be plenty of heat left in the cooker to finish the job
● Try not to open your oven door while baking as your oven loses 25% of its heat every time you do
● Keep your oven door clean so that you can monitor your baking without having to open your oven door
● Double up your recipes. It’s far more energy efficient to cook fewer, larger batches than it is to cook frequent, smaller batches – you can always freeze leftovers
● When you’re cooking on the hob, make sure that you use the correct sized hob ring for your pan, and use a lid whenever you can, to retain heat